Friday, April 19 2024

What’s the ultimate way to experience music: blasting through speakers or witnessing a live performance? For Fortitude, the unequivocal answer lies in the live experience. This preference comes in the form of their latest release, ‘DCxPC Live Vol. 12: Fortitude Live at Lou’s.‘ This electrifying live album was recorded at Lou’s, a renowned venue for local live music, and it encapsulates 25 years of demos and full-length tracks. Since they formed in 1997, Fortitude has been championing their unique brand of old-school ethics hardcore punk.

Comprised of Pat Edge on vocals, Big Dave on drums, Otial on bass, and Wes B on guitar, the band hails from Daytona Beach, Florida. This release marks their inaugural vinyl debut and is the much-anticipated 12th volume under DCxPC Live—a record label specialising in live vinyl albums across hardcore, punk, ska, and metal genres.

Opening with a rendition of the American national anthem, akin to Jimi Hendrix’s iconic interpretation, the album plunges headfirst into their catalog with ‘Star Spangled Hate’. Following the opening call to arms, the atmosphere transforms into a surge of uncontainable energy—distorted guitars unleash the trademark buzzsaw sound while relentless, aggressive vocals scream in tandem with the music. Serving as the driving force behind the song, the drums fiercely pound in unyielding fury. This fiery intensity harks back to the roots of hardcore, born from the frustrations and political disillusionment of youth rebelling against 1980s-era affluence, consumerism, greed, and authority. ‘Star Spangled Hate,’ penned in 1999 following a spontaneous US attack on Iraq, challenges the necessity of military strikes on innocent citizens enduring sanctions. It’s a protest anthem, urging Americans to consistently question the status quo and stand in solidarity with all people.

‘Star Spangled Hate’ ignites the crowd into a frenzy of moshing and headbanging right from the first note. While evoking echoes of renowned hardcore acts like Sick of It All and Agnostic Front, it also bears influences from metalcore giants like Ringworm and Integrity.

As the album progresses, ‘Return of the Real’ weaves between fast-paced beats, grungier rhythms, and punk-infused cadences, showcasing Fortitude’s versatility. Tracks like ‘Red Aunt Riot’ and ‘The Aftermath’ sustain the blistering energy set into motion by ‘Star Spangled Hate,’ but it’s ‘Old Ethics’ that emerges as a standout in my opinion. A remarkable track penned a quarter-century ago, it encapsulates ideals that previous bands aimed to convey: unity within the scene, racial harmony, and a deep sense of hardcore pride. Despite enduring lineup changes, personal tragedies, and confronting alarming health issues over the years, Fortitude adamantly refuses to halt their journey. For them, ‘Old Ethics’ embodies an unwavering commitment—to persist regardless of adversities encountered, a testament to their ethos of resilience and unwavering determination.

Closing with ‘The Game,’ Fortitude exhibits their musical prowess, delivering a captivating composition driven by robust guitars and brisk basslines, showcasing their technical acumen and tightness.

For fans of hardcore and metalcore, this live album is a tour de force. Fortitude’s performance is an unyielding display of tight musicianship, unrestrained aggression, and boundless energy, affirming that live albums remain a potent conduit for capturing a band’s true essence. ‘DCxPC Live Vol. 12: Fortitude Live at Lou’s’ stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Fortitude and their relentless dedication to their craft.

The album is available to purchase here >> BUY NOW

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Review

Summary

Fortitude’s ‘DCxPC Live Vol. 12: Fortitude Live at Lou’s’ is a live album that embodies 25 years of their hardcore punk journey, showcasing their unwavering commitment to live performances and delivering an electrifying testament to resilience, unity, and unrelenting passion for the genre.
81%

Rating

song quality
vocal performances
lyrics
instrumentation
production

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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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